My Top Shows Of Twenty-Twelve

I saw more shows this year than any other (47 total) and all of them were FUN . The following is a list of my top ten (most fun) shows all year:

10) The New Highway Hymnal, Creaturos, Leamers, The Migs, Nice Guys @ Big Stink (10/6/12)
Damn, this was a solid night. I mean with the bands on this bill, how could it not be? Going in to this show I only knew NHH and The Migs, but I came out a fan of local stalwurts, Creaturos and Nice Guys, and our neighbors to the North, Montréal’s Leamers. Kids bashing and bopping around like they ought to. I’ll link you up to the KLYAM review: https://klyam.com/2012/10/09/concert-review-nice-guys-the-migs-leamers-creaturos-new-highway-hymnal-big-stink-10612/

9) The Migs, Nice Guys, Cult Fluorescent, Slimers, Chillcity Icon @ Wilder Zangcraft (11/24/12)
Best Migs show I’ve seen! Nice Guys played a sick set of Coachwhips covers and it was great to see the experimental one mon band Cult Fluorescent again. This show was also my introduction to the mighty Migsian two piece, Slimers and the twisted no wave/noise duo, Chillcity Icon. https://klyam.com/2012/12/06/concert-review-the-migs-nice-guys-cult-fluorescent-slimers-chillcity-icon-wilder-zangcraft-112412/


8) Hunx and His Punx, Heavy Cream, Radio Control @ Great Scott (4/2/12)
I’m a Hunx freak, so words can’t describe my excitement for this show. Having missed the past two Hunx Boston gigs :( I’ve waited for two and a half years to see the band live again. The first time back in October ’09 was opening for Jay Reatard and this served as my intro to Hunx. This time around was even better because I actually knew and loved all of the songs. Throw in Infinity Cat noise makers, Heavy Cream and Somerville rockers, Radio Control and you have one of the finest shows all year. https://klyam.com/2012/04/04/concert-review-hunx-and-his-punx-great-scott-4212/


7) Fat Creeps, Earthquake Party, Fedavees, Fagettes Halloween Show @ Rosebud (10/13/12)
2012 very well could be called the year of the Fat Creeps, especially on this site. We’ve seen a dozen Creeps shows this year, more than any other artist. In fact, I think I’ve seen them more than any other band I’ve seen. Every show has had its own special quality, but for Halloween they played a set of Ramones covers and the crowd ate it up. It was the marriage of two of my favorite bands, and on top of that there were stellar sets from Earthquake Party! (Nirvana), Fedavees (The Wipers), and The Fagettes (Nancy Sinatra & Lee Hazlewood).
https://klyam.com/2012/10/16/concert-review-halloween-show-featuring-fat-creeps-earthquake-party-fedavees-fagettes-rosebud-101312/


6) On Broadway Fest 2008 @ Dirty Douglas/Ant Cellar (5/5/12)
I haven’t been to any music festivals, except this one, well and the first On Broadway Fest, but I arrived at night for that one. Therefore, this show was a unique experience. It was a blast seeing 15 or so bands all in one day, especially with memorable performaces from Fat History Month, Big Mess, The New Highway Hymnal (shit water yay!), and Guerilla Toss – I literally felt the Guerilla Toss, woooo. https://klyam.com/2012/06/08/concert-review-onbroadway-fest-2008-5512/


5) No Age, Make It Up @ Chum’s Coffeehouse (3/10/12)
KLYAM and No Age go way back, way back before there even was a KLYAM. The first show we saw at Middle East was No Age, and that took place in 2008. They were one of the first of our beloved, HONORARY KLYAMERS. As popular as No Age is, they still carve out their own DIY aesthetic and playing a little Coffeehouse in Waltham is a testament to that. Some of the best moshing/crowd surfing I’ve seen all year! https://klyam.com/2012/03/12/concert-review-no-age-chums-brandeis/


4) Ty Segall, Thee Oh Sees, K-Holes @ The Well (9/22/12)
This is one of the few shows I have seen outdoors. I need to experience more of these! Outside on a rainy night in Brooklyn with a thousand or more bodies. I usually prefer smaller gigs, but Ty Segall’s music is so gigantic it feels right in this setting. Of course, this show is also special because this marks my first and only experience with Thee Oh Sees, one of America’s greatest live bands. Can’t wait for the next NYC trip and/or Ty/Oh Sees show. K-Holes, stay solid. https://klyam.com/2012/09/23/concert-review-ty-segall-thee-oh-sees-k-holes-the-well-92212/

3) Ty Segall, White Fence, Strange Boys @ Space Gallery (5/14/12)
Ty it is again! You just can’t stop this guy from popping up on our year end lists. Ahh, our first Ty Segall show ever! An event in heavy anticipation for nearly two years. The Space Gallery is one of the finer venues in the New England area that I have attended: larger capacity without that corporate rock feel, art gallery, steady rock ‘n’ roll, and two dollar PBRs! Yeah, so if the show above at the Well felt like a big time House of Blues event, then this Space Gallery show was more akin to a rowdy, packed Black Lips show at the Mid East Downstairs. And of course, Strange Boys were better than ever!
https://klyam.com/2012/05/15/concert-review-ty-segall-white-fence-strange-boys/


2) King Khan & The Shrines, Hector’s Pets @ Brighton Music Hall (7/23/12)

As far as showmen go, you’d be hard pressed to find anyone that competes with King Khan. We were blessed this year to catch Khan and all the classic Shrines at a sweaty, fun filled show this past July. It’s just one big party y’all. https://klyam.com/2012/07/25/concert-review-king-khan-the-shrines-brighton-music-hall/

Who will be number 1?…..

NO NO NO NO NO!!!
NobunnyTyOhSeesNYCSep2012 009
NOBUNNY!!!!

1) Nobunny, Bad Sports, Xray Eyeballs, Liquor Store @ Living Bread (9/21/12)
For the past three years, the almighty Black Lips have filled the number one slot in this category. Alas, we did not see them this year, they had bigger plans – touring the Middle East. Beautiful, those kids need em’ more. Fortunately, we witnessed somebunny else on stage, this bunny we’ve also consistently seen the past 3-4 years, and he’s never let us down. 5 Nobunny shows deep and this was the best. I felt like I was watching Darby Crash or Keith Morris, but singing bubblegum and garage. I love that feeling, when you look up at a bunnyman in his underwear and say to yourself “this is the only kind of rock ‘n’ roll that matters.” https://klyam.com/2012/09/24/concert-review-nobunny-bad-sports-xray-eyeballs-liquor-store-living-bread-92112/

Ahh what a year, 2012, the best I’d say. In this year I saw the following exceptional/favorite bands for the first time (some of which I noted above): SKIMASK, Bleached, Smith Westerns, Dirty Virgins,  Fat Creeps, The Migs,  Ty Segall, Beach Boys,  Bent Shapes (as Bent Shapes), Colleen Green (two nights in a row!), Thee Oh Sees, Nice Guys, The Fagettes, The Electric Street Queens, Yankee Power.

And now I’m off to bring in 2013 with Fat Creeps,  The New Highway Hymnal, Color Channel, and Yale, MA at Great Scott. Peace.

Concert Review: Ty Segall, White Fence, Strange Boys @ Space Gallery

Date: Monday, May 14, 2012
Venue:
Space Gallery, Portland, ME

Pre-Show: “That’s the guy,” I say to a long-ish blonde haired young man who has just emerged from the front door of the Space Gallery. That guy is Ty Segall! I had just spoken to band-mates, Charlie and Emily, who were waiting outside. To myself I thought Ty couldn’t be that far away. And here he is. In person, he is just as you’d imagine — well-spoken, friendly, and highly approachable. The kind of guy whom you can get away with saying “do you think you look like this dude over here???” to. Just like an old pal from high school. Well, that old pal might be in grad school or working a 9 to 5 in the big city. Who knows? Ty is a college grad indeed, but he’s accomplished far more things than most in that category have…at least creatively. And he’s only 24 or 25 (depending on who you ask…I’ve even seen 23, but it’s been 23 for a couple of years now…probably could have gotten away with asking him to clarify that).

Strange Boys: What is a typical fans prep work before a show? Whole days spent lounging by the record player or nothing at all? When I can, I like doing some homework, but this process can be like studying for a final…things could go sour if you wait just days before the big test day, but if you’ve been keeping up all along you most likely will be fine. And ‘being fine’ here just means recognizing and appreciating the set as something familiar. Brand new songs can mess this dynamic up slightly, but you know what I mean! I’ve seen the Strange Boys a couple of times before tonight — the first time at the House of Blues opening for Deerhunter and headliner Spoon and the second time at TT The Bears alongside the honorable Gentleman Jesse and His Men and Those Darlins. Those were enjoyable performances, but tonight the Boys seem to be more at ease than ever. In other words, great shit. They even arrived a bit late, but it’s not like anyone would’ve known that without a brief discourse with the sound guy. Ryan Sambol begins the set on guitar, plucking soulfully, and entertaining requests before taking a seat in front of his keyboard. Instead of a set list, they (or maybe just Ryan) opted to go with what felt right. Brother Phillip wanted some real songs and they came eventually, but not before a 30 second tease of Thee Oh Sees “The Dream” via indirect request (what does Portland like?), a little “Sweet Jane” fudging, and a spawning of Glenn Danzig. A girl in the crowd wanted “Laugh At Sex Not Her” and she sure got it. A faster than ever version. In the Strange Boys mix of original material there seemed to be a focus on Live Music, but older cuts were thrown into the mix. To me, they played with more power and tightness than I can recall. The bass was groovier, the guitar solos hit harder, and the drumming was spot-on. Ryan said he hopes to see the crowd come out again next time. They will.

White Fence: The mastermind behind White Fence is Tim Presley. Tim looks fresh out of work, buttoned down collared shirt, dress slacks, you know business casual. Tim’s line of work is rock and roll and the dress code is there isn’t one. So this is what being a rock and roll warrior is all about? God bless. It’s interesting to see him and his band perform – on record, the experience is mainly psychedelic, melodic, but not real crazy. During their set, however, the band is far heavier and immediate. On constant display is Tim’s guitar playing, which propels the band. Don’t get me wrong the other band members are instrumental, quite literally, but Tim is a machine. With such a shitload of material in the White Fence discography, I don’t recognize many of the songs and that’s a bit of a shame. The great thing is the fact that I was impressed and now want to really buckle down and get going with the band. I’ve got the set-list, and now you do too!

Mr. Adams
Who Feels Right
Swagger Vets and Double Moon
The Pool
Long White Curtain
Baxter Corner
Growing Faith
Enthusiasm
Mioclajs
Be Right Too
A Hermes Blues
Down PNX
Get That Heart
Sticky Fruitman Has Faith
Harness

Ty Segall: If you haven’t already gotten the vibes, Ty is one of my favorite musicians. Before this night, I had never seen him live. He was #1 must-see. In fact, I didn’t plan on going to this show until the last minute. How about that! So before the Ty Segall Band came up on stage, Tim on guitar, Mikal Cronin on bass, Nick Murray on drums, and Ty Segall on guitar graced the stage. These four performed two excellent tracks from Hair — “Time” and “Scissor People”. It was a perfect segue into the Band. They came out firing on all cylinders — the explosive entrance of distorted guitar in “Finger” set the course for the night. Heavy moshing, heavy pogo-ing. Heavy clapping. It was all making sense. Save some brief pauses in between songs, it felt like hit-after-hit. Non-stop crowd participation and loving. The three new songs — “Tell Me,” “Eyes,” and “Wave Goodbye” — that the band played off upcoming Slaughterhouse felt like old-time favorites. It makes the wait for that album all that more exciting. For me, I most enjoyed the ending of “Wave,” “The Floor,” “The Drag,” and “My Sunshine”. Consistently great moments. Some people started leaving after “My Sunshine,” and why would they do this? Did they think the band wouldn’t possibly be playing an encore?! Hope they came back because the Band sure did and played two songs. Which songs? I do not know. Maybe you do. They were fun. Perhaps a little “Caesar” or “Skin” to seal the deal would have been even better, but the Band did what they wanted to do. That’s great. This was a top concert experience for certain — I don’t remember being this excited to see a favorite band since maybe the Lips show back in ’09. They followed through on the excitement and then some. Check out all three bands, KLYAMers. You know that.

Ty Segall & White Fence Set-List:
Time
Scissor People

Ty Segall Set-List:
Finger
Doctor Doctor
Girlfriend
Imaginary Person
Cents
Standing At The Station
You Make The Sun Fry
Tell Me What’s Inside Your Heart
I Bought My Eyes
Wave Goodbye
The Floor
The Drag
My Sunshine
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SOTD: Gentlemen Jesse- “Rest Of My Days” (2008)

So, unforunately KLYAM does not control time zones. Yeah, this is a massive dissapointment for me too. Apparently we cannot be in two places at once, fuck! This translates into us missing Gentlemen Jesse & His Men at Great Scott last night :(. We were too busy witnessing the awesomeness of Ty Segall live for the very first time at the Space Gallery in Portland, Maine!; Strange Boys and White Fence were nothing short of pure rock and roll/high quality entertainment as well. Okay, enough of that peter puffing for now, back to thee gentlemen. We’ve seen them a few times and they rock, of course, so it was too bad we missed one of our favorite Atlanta bands. Here’s a personal favorite, “Rest Of My Days,” that I like to sing when I walk to the liquor store or sleep in extremely late. Cheers!

Chris’s Top 30 Current Favorite Artists

In honor of KLYAM’s two year Birthday (June 27) I decided to make a list of my 30 favorite bands at the moment with the criteria being that they had to have released material since the inception of KLYAM that I enjoy very, very much. I don’t plan on writing about all of them, especially when it is so obvious to anyone that frequently visits this site why I love some of these bands. Okay, here we go!

30) Those Darlins: You think Country music is dead?! You clearly haven’t heard Those Darlins. This four piece band rocks like a Punk band but with the sweetness of an old school Country act. A great example of a modern band incorporating traditional styles of music into their own unique sound.

29) The Strange Boys

28) Smith Westerns: I had heard the name Smith Westerns tossed around like a hot child in the city and they just seemed like another hype band, and for some reason (at least to me) they kind of have that look to them. Eventually, I sat down and gave them some eartime and realized I had been missing out on one of the finer pop bands around today. When you listen to SW you can tell these guys want their music to just consume you and rest deep in your psyche for as long as possible. Their songs are epic, perhaps even over the top, but in that nice way, you know where you fear they are coming too close to pretentious, but then all of that evaporates when you realize just how catchy, emotional, and ultimately memorable the music is. Definitely, one of my new favorite bands, all hype bullshit aside.

27) Atlas Sound: If you asked most music fans what they look for in artists I’m sure sincerity is pretty damn high on the list. Bradford “Atlas Sound” Cox is one of the most sincere artists in the whole world. Instead of making his music a premeditated script, Bradford lets the music flow as he is recording it; he does not write lyrics ahead of time and this really shines through in his songs. There is an uncany vulnerability in his music. For example, in “Holiday,” when he moans “I’m desperate, don’t try to get away” you really believe him. He offers the genuine emotion and conviction a “proper” musician would simply fuck up. Not to mention the vast amount of music he makes freely available for everyone!

26) Arctic Monkeys

25) Peach Kelli Pop: A notable trend on this list is the vintage, “garage,” if you will studio production sound in most or many of these artists, and I think PKP is no exception to that. I love the sound of their self-titled record and how simple it is (or at least appears to be); thee simplicity is key to these tunes. Also the exuberence and joy placed in every song is enough to make even the grouchiest killjoy start shakin’. PKP is like bubblegummy, teeny bopper music for Punkers. “Eeenie Meenie Minie Moe” is my top jam; I could blast that forever.

24) Gentlemen Jesse and His Men: I’m often shocked that some of the music I love is not as big as I would expect it to be. But, as Hunx says to the nay sayers of Rock and Roll: “What the fuck is wrong with you?!” Seriously, what the fuck is wrong with a world that doesn’t enjoy or worse has never came close to hearing the pleasant power pop of Gentlemen Jesse. These Atlanta rockers represent more of the sweet side of Rock and Roll, but they ain’t pussies! and whenever I see them live I’m thinking this is ALL I NEED TONIGHT!

23) Arcade Fire

22) Shannon and the Clams: I think Shannon and the Clams are the youngest (in terms of my excessive fandom for their music) band on this list. In the past month, the clams have been in heavy rotation on my ipod and it’s not hard to see why; if you love balls out, no fucking around, sometimes soft, sometimes crazy Rock and Roll, then this band demands your attention. Shannon Shaw has a gorgeous voice filled with variety- she can belt out loud, Punk inspired vocals or send your ears to musical heaven in the form of more sensitive singing. A lot of great ballads, straight up rock songs, and everything in between. One of the funnest bands I’ve come across as of late.

21) Cumstain: Wow, what a fucking band right here. Cumstain is the kinda band where your not sure if it’s just a joke or if you’re going to write your college thesis on their work and life philosophy. Well, it’s neither, but something has to be special if one were to make this contemplation. Seriously though, I can’t promote this band enough, it really dissapoints me that so few people know of their music. In terms of the songs, they are quite strong, stronger than most of their “garage” peers, but really that’s just the beginning. I have often described them as an unintentionally conceptual band. Their eponymous deubt record feels like an odd, off kilter concept album. A loose, dirty story of what it is like to be a young, sexually frusturated and confused male in this world. Overall, the music is fun and rocks, not to be taken too seriously, but honestly I rarely ever hear anything so visceral. Cumstain’s lyrics are often vulgar and licentious (who would have guessed?!) but beneath the unsavory language there’s a lot of truth. It’s a truth most pop songwriters would save for a private conversation with their buddies instead of documenting their thoughts and emotions via music. The classic ballad (it’s a ballad to me anyway) and final track “Cum Stain” really wraps things up and sums up the album as a whole. Countless bands have written about wanting to fuck girls and do naughty things to them, but few have ever taken the time to explain why, in an astonshingly direct manner, they feel this way. And as stated in the song, the relationship between men and women- the most discussed subject matter in just about all of art, is humorously and accurately reduced to being just another cum stain on a girl’s floor. I couldn’t think of a better way to put it myself, I can imagine Bill Shakespeare would be proud. With that being said, you could eschew all that philisophical analysis as utter nonsense and that would be perfectly fine because at the end of the day these songs are really great rockers to toss on while you get drunk and rowdy and dance/mosh around to or however you like to spend the time in your bachelor’s life.

20) The Almigthy Defenders: Man oh man, if I attended the show on the above flyer it would be salvation for sure! There are a lot of side projects in Rock and Roll especially when it comes to my faves, but without a doubt The Almighty Defenders brought a whole new meaning to the words side project and supergroup. Honestly, I don’t know if I could have dreamed up a more heavenly super group. If anyone reading this is a fan of The Black Lips, The King Khan & BBQ Show or just good old fashioned, analog sounding, early roots, gospel inspired- pre-popular, mass machine based music and you haven’t listened to defenders, do yourself a massive favor check them out ASAP.

19) Harlem: The word “garage” gets tossed around way too much and admittedly we are part of that over usage; Harlem has often been categorized as a garage band and certainly they have elements of said genre, but as far as KLYAM tastebuds go, they have totally surpassed 95% or more of the bands that fall under that label. Despite their Matador Records deal and other widespread acclaim, alas it seems Harlem does not gain the recognition they deserve. Who knows maybe the “indie” music “scene” just wanted to build Harlem up and look for the next Black Lips or Jay Reatard and didn’t find them. Well, fuck that Harlem is Harlem! And you know what Harlem probably doesn’t care anyway. They have that Maine Coonsy-Beetsy “I don’t give a fuck” kinda attitude to them. Even live this persona was completely intact- though they were also on shrooms when I saw them… But there’s really sentiment and heart to this trio’s music- a character lacking in their fellow “garage” comrades. They remind me of that guy that acts all nonshalant about getting laid (“yeah, I fucked her..”) but deep down that’s all that’s on his mind.

18) Mark Sultan

17) Girls

16) The Pains of Being Pure at Heart: It seems pretty obvious just with a few quick glances of this list that there are virtually no original artists in the truest sense of the word. Most of them wear their influences on their sleeves and you know what that is more than fine by me. Most bands aren’t close to original to begin with, so I’d rather hear a band mimic an existing style and add their own flavor to it. Pains are a great modern example of this- they sound like they belong on an 80s teen flick soundtrack with a little bit of the distortion and harsh noise of The Jesus and Mary Chain spinrkled in the mix. Easily one of the strongest debut LPs I have had the pleasure of hearing.

15) Magic Kids

14) The Maine Coons: If you react to music the way I do, then when you hear a band described as “cum punk” then it is a MUST that you hear them. Definitely the most obscure band on this list- which just like another “cum punk,” band, if you will, Cumstain deepely saddens me. These guys need to be acknowledged because they have the creepy, but catchy, freaky, but funny song dynamic down to a tee. Seriously their music is in the same league as Nobunny and Mark Sultan. I will constantly promote these guys any chance I get. Perhaps some of the greatest song titles ever- “Pull the Plug On Grandma,” “Hey Dickhead,” “Ghetto Queen,” “I Am a Motherfucker,” and the uplifting, missonary anthem, “How Long Is It Going to Take For You to Find God.” Maine Coons for life! You won’t find pussy this good anywhere else, I assure you.

13) King Khan & the Shrines

12) Ty Segall: Yeah yeah, I know that’s not a pic of Ty, but rather Steven Segal. But, if Ty and Steven got into a brawl, the former would totally win because Ty Segall is thee definition of badass. He’s a badass in that cool, laid back kind of way- not the I’m a tough guy and I have to prove it to everyone including myself kinda way; real gangsta ass niggas don’t start fights. And to top it off, Ty’s music is the sexiest music created in decades. Think about it, next time you want to get it on with a lady friend, play some Ty Segall. You can thank me in the form of KLYAM promotion!

11) Nobunny: Nobunny is for the children. Nobunny is for the geezers. A great man once told me that Nobunny is everything and at the same time Nobunny is nothing.

10) Best Coast

9) Animal Collective: I mentioned earlier that the artists on this list lack orginality (not as a flaw, but as a basic observation), well Animal Collective is an exception to that. I have always argued that they are the greatest and most groundbreaking band of the past decade and even if you don’t agree with that high praise you can at least admire them for their vast experimentation which is juxtaposed with their ability to break into a more accessible sound without totally abandoning those chaotic tendencies. AC was the first modern band that really struck me and got me into listening to other modern artists. Before them, I listened to only older artists for the most part. In other words, they destroyed the musical time barrier for me.

8) No Age: Whenever people ask me about noise music I typicall drop two names: Lightning Bolt and No Age. I don’t consider myself a noise aficionado by any means and I don’t consier NA a pure noise band, but one cannot help but notice the direct link between the cacophany, energy, and volume of LB and other noise bands and Dean and Randy’s ever growing project. The only difference is that this duo has an extreme devotion to pop music. From the beginning, NA has made it clear (not so much verbally) that they are pop songwriters and great ones at that! Their catchy tunes and overall light hearted, positive demanor offer a sense of inclusion, which is very much apparent in their recordings, but all the more alive during their awe inspiring live shows. No Age can be appreciated by old school punkers (or fans of old school Punk/Hardcore) but at the same time their music feels welcoming to all.

7) Box Elders: When one of your favorite bands break up it’s like when your parents divorce.* “It’s just going to end like that! Did you even consider how this would affect me?!” Even though it saddens you, you have to be a bigger person and realize its probably for the best and they need to work things out for themselves. A book on teaching music fans how to cope with their favorite bands’s splits will be available in bookstores shortly… Plain and simple, the Box Elders were one of the greatest- live, in the studio, and everywhere else. When I heard that they were through it was a dark day for KLYAM. At least, we have the music! Alice and Friends (2009) is one of the finest LPs from the past decade and probably my favorite Goner release. It’s funny with a lot of small bands you have to pay close attention to truly appreciate the pop song sunk beneath the sea of noise with the BE it was the exact opposite: you had to look for that home recording “lower” quality sound because (at least for me) their pop hooks and musical excellence dominated each and every song.

* This is just a joke, for I have never had to deal with a divorce in any way whatsoever.

6) Wavves: King of the Beach (2010) was KLYAM’s #1 album of the year brah, a title we don’t take lightly around here haha. Thanks (along with Best Coast) for bringing back good teenage angst music- at least for my tastes.

5) Hunx an His Punx

4) The King Khan & BBQ Show: I’d like to think of King Khan & BBQ as a little microcosm for my entire taste in music and more significantly my personality as a whole. Sexy, but sweet. In your face and crazy at times, but usually just ready to party and Rock and Roll. Complete soul, sentiment, and integrity, but don’t take shit too, too seriously or else it tastes bad. No bullshit, keep it as real as real can get and keep an eye on all the hunnies. Mark Sultan’s definitely my favorite singer right now- pumping up various vocalists of the 50s, 60s, and 70s with steroids and BBQ, a neat combo.

3) Deerhunter: Tru Gangsta. Tru Gangsta. If I ever saw any they would be the four gentlemen that comprise Deerhunter. Deerhunter in many ways are the group that links many of these bands together. The experimental pop aspect of their music can be associated with Animal Collective and No Age and their fun loving, Rock and Roll, “Garage” esque- simple music aesthetic and background connects them with the like of their hometown boys, The Black Lips, Jay Reatard, and The King Khan & BBQ Show, amongst others. I was discussing music with a friend and I pointed out what makes Deerhunter special and separates them from most artists is the fact that their music is extremely emotional and they deal with love in their songs, but they don’t write “love songs” or songs about sexual relationships between people. This allows the band to tap into an entirely different universe, often much greater, deeper emotions other artists never enter; they create a different kind of love song. I constantly use the word emotional to describe their music and obviously any good music has to be emotional in one way or another, but I feel like people give Deerhunter a bad name when they say they are “depressing.” Their music perhaps takes people to a place in themselves that they would rather not face, but that’s precisely what I love about them. I credit this band with helping me out a lot when I was depressed; in many ways they were the soundtrack to my evolution to happiness- that’s the only way I can describe it. My favorite song is the Microcastle (2008) closer “Twilight At Carbon Lake.” I love how it starts off sort of “sad,” and then just explodes into this wall of noise till the very end of the record. To me that song is like going through personal hell, going from totally hating yourself to totally loving yourself. As if that massive increase in volume is akin to a nervous breakdown and the end of the song is a sign that you made it out alive, stronger than ever, like the noise was just you destroying everything you hated about yourself and everything that brought you down in the first place. I’m not saying that’s what the song is about or what I think the song is about, but rather what it means to me. It’s not so much about thoughts, it’s about emotions.

2) Jay Reatard: First and foremost, with The Ramones as a possible exception, Jay wrote the catchiest songs ever. The man could sit down with a guitar and his voice alone and unleash a mini pop symphony that the most sophisticated musicians alive could never create. I can imagine one of his legacies will be the fact that he serves as a model for how much one can do with how little they have- giving hope to many a young guy and girl alone in their bedroom making music seemingly no one wants to hear. In both his music and lyrics, Jay eschewed the tough guy image a lot of people placed on him, instead cutting open his heart and sharing his blood visions for you and me, and for all to see. If you look at his songs, he really doesn’t shield himself from the rest of the world like most people do. For a guy with as much balls and strength in him, he wasn’t shy to reveal his feelings through his music in a non gay reatard way, i.e. “I look in to your eyes and try not to cry,” from his classic “Oh, It’s Such a Shame.” And indeed it is a shame, but it would be an even greater shame if we let his music fade all away into obscurity. RIP.

1) Black Lips!: Most of this site is why I love the Black Lips and why they are my favorite band, so this explanation, if you will, will be as brief as possible. In fact, the namesake for this site, for you newbies, descends from the lyrics to the lips’ anthem and their most popular song, “Bad Kids.” It’s funny, I don’t remember how this all came about, but from what I’m told a friend of ours, actually KLYAMer, Ben Tan, came up with the title knowing Glen and I were such massive fans of their music. Honestly, what a perfect title- it works on many different levels and makes sense, even if you can’t catch the reference. I think had it been Glen or me that came up with the title we probably would have called it something stupid like “Everybody Loves a Cocksucker” to prove we’re die hard Black Lips fans. Which we are- the hardest working fans in show business, but we are certainly not OG and never claimed to be. We stumbled upon the Lips in April of ’08 and slowly we became psychotic devotees, grabbing everything we could listen to, read, or watch on the band. I don’t know about Glen, but for me perhaps the greatest characteristic of the Black Lips is the fact that they satisfy the classic image and idea of what Rock and Roll band should be. That heroic, do whatever the fuck you want, Rock and Roll all night and party every day, image that I honestly thought was dead before the Lips came into my life. I thought it died with popular Rock and Roll music. But, it is alive and well and has been for a long time, just nestled in the underground. Will the Lips be the band that brings this music above ground again? Who knows? I hope the best for them, but I honestly don’t care, I will be satisfied as long as they keep it simple, stupid.